Kebnekaise again…

So here I am…again…It is a dark rainy sky at lunchtime. I am hoping he weather will be better. With nine clients, and a aspirant guide and with a pouring rain it will be a challenge. The target this time is as usual the south peak of Kebnekaise. The peak was ascended for the first time (official) 22nd of August in 1883 and it was Charles Rabot. He entered the peak dressed in just yellow underwear to spare trousers. He had company of two Swedes; Jon Larsson and Pehr Abrahamsson. the equipment they brought was very primitive; two aluminum cups, a spoon, a fork and a coffee pot, in which to cook both soup, coffee and tea. The expedition members thus had to eat one at the time. When they reach the top at seven a clock in the evening, over it all rested something of the absolute peacefulness of the first creation. However, Rabot’s poor clothing called for more thorough observations; after measuring the summit at 2130 meters it went back down. At midnight, the group reached their base camp, hungry and tired. In twelve hours they had only consumed one chocolate bar each.

We will take the bout for shortening the approach with 6 Km. And when we racing the mountain station at Kebnekaise my clients will eat a two dinner course and sleep in a bed indoor at the station. Well, back to the weather its was rain on and off the whole journey. The next morning we left the station at 06.15 and at 13.00 we reached the top. The weather, yes it was foggy and almost no sight at all. As always it is very important to remember that to reach the top means you just the half way. It is good that is is two wind shelter close to the peak. We stayed at one of them for lunch, a good decision for gather strength. And sorry to say, as always some of the participants got really tired. the last three kilometers has taken a lot of power from the most and especially from them who has been lively and talkative during the day…But we landed in time, enjoy the shower and sauna and then a three course dinner. Hm. better then just a chocolate bar…

See ya tomorrow…

Outdoor first aid…

From my perspective the first aid knowledge can be divided into two parts; psychological and the practical part. The psychological first aid will be a part of the risk management work. So here it start with discovering what can possible go wrong, and how can I be prepared for it. Here it will be very important to have ”the big picture” of your adventure. Predict what can happened and how you can be prepared for it. One of the most important leadership skills you need will be the ability to act when the shit hits the fan and you or someone else get injured. This competence is a real commodity.

Be prepared when the shit hits the fan…

If there is a course or training it will be worth to invest in it will be in this area, You also must practice it, for keeping the skills up to date. Be friend with the chaos. When something happening there will be messy, so be prepared for that. So here comes a way of thinking in this type of situation: 1. Maintain your routine. 2. Take a break, get an overview so you know what it is all about. 3. Slow down an breath, get yourself calm. 4. Identify and start acting with a plan. 5. Keep perspective, don’t get into details. 6. Control what you can control and act out from that. As you can see, the better routines you got, the faster you get friend with the chaos. That because you know what to do. So secure you know what and how you handle a situation with a accident with injuries. Then you get yourself a plan for which step you should work out from. My recommend her will be the L-ABCDE, then it will flow as a waterfall…

First Aid Kit – Wolf (Live Glastonbury 2017) – YouTube

See ya tomorrow..

Great symbolic value

The topic of the day will be about the reindeer. The deer animal can be find in three part of the world; Nordic, northern part of Russia and north America. You can find different sub species of the reindeer.

Most differ from the size or the color of the fur. Some of the reindeers live at secluded places and even islands, such as Greenland, Svalbard and Ellesmere-island in arctic Canada. At Svalbard the reindeer got shorter legs and is a sub species, which is closely related to the Greenland reindeer. Here in Sweden the wild reindeer could be found until the end of the 1800. But today there is just domestic reindeer. During the 1700 some reindeers was transported towards Gotland, but the last out of this was shot in the 1800. Wild reindeers can be found in Russia, North America and in Norway. There has been an ongoing discussion about to reintroduce wild reindeer in Sweden, but no such decision has been made so far. A reindeers antler can have a weight up to 15kg. Often the fur got a dark grey brown color, but it can vary. The color is lighter during the Winter. This helps them for being discovered of predator. The reindeers fur is buildup of hollow air cells who protect very good from cold. In addition the reindeer got a dense undercoat. When the reindeer moves you can hear a snapping sound. It is due to a tendon attachment in the hind leg that slides over a leg, thus producing a sound. It is not known for sure what the meaning of the sound is, but it may make it easier for the reindeer to stay together in the dark and fog. The reindeer is a ruminant herbivore and eats many kinds of plants, such as grasses, lichens, rhizomes, rice from deciduous trees and various herbs. They also like mushrooms, such as soups, mushrooms and mushrooms. Reindeer management in Sweden today takes place from Idre in the south to Karesuando in the north. The Swedish legislation (reindeer farming law) limits reindeer husbandry to those who are members of one of Sweden’s Sami villages. The reindeer’s migrations are controlled by the Sami with the help of helicopters, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. Reindeer raising has a long history, there are historical sources that telling us that it has been ongoing since the 800. This animal is also fast, up 80Km/h is the speed level they can reach. In Sweden there are 360 000 reindeers after the yearly calving. In Sweden today there is about 4600 reindeer owners. Today’s reindeer husbandry is mainly focused on meat production. Domesticated reindeer are used today in tourism or for ”reindeer racing”. Reindeer herding still plays an important role in Sami culture. It is a carrier of tradition with great symbolic value.

Being a reindeer herder is a hard profession, but it is also a way of life. As a reindeer herder, you are at the same time a carrier and mediator of the Sami reindeer herding culture.

Mitt skinn och ben – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

Mountaineering skills…

Today we will learn something more about the mountaineering skills. This are is quite wide, so it will not be all of it. First of clothing. Secure you got a good layer set-up. Wool of the first layer is important. This will help you to stay dry and warm. Next layer can be fleece or hybrid (prima-loft etc,) or even wool here as well. It can be good to add a vest and after that the shell-layer. Now you can put on/off regarding to the heat-and don’t get overheated. You shall also bring a down jacket for breaks and at the camp site. Wet means danger…The navigation skills you need to brush-up. No way around this one: navigation is more difficult in winter! With paths and topographical features often buried under snow, fewer daylight hours, and a higher chance of bad (or even zero) visibility, your navigation will have to be up to scratch. If your map-and-compass skills are rusty, consider getting some tuition – or just head out and practise with a knowledgeable buddy. Get comfortable with skills such as aiming off, handrailing, counting paces, and timing. It isn’t cheating to use a GPS and this is especially true in winter, when efficiency is important. However, it’s no substitute for having the core skills.
An important tip for winter navigation: don’t try to follow ridges too closely. Ridges often hide a ‘cornice’ (or overhanging lip of snow) on their leeward side, which can be difficult to see. A cornice may or may not support your weight, and it’s easy to think you’re standing on solid ground while in fact suspended only a foot or two over a massive drop. Give potential cornice areas a wide berth.

Weather. While important at all times of year, knowing the weather forecast is doubly important in winter when major snowfall could leave you stranded in a remote bothy – or worse. A rule of thumb often used by instructors is to let fresh snowfall consolidate for a couple of days before taking on a big route. Deep, fresh snow is hard to walk through and can lead to increased avalanche risk. Generally speaking snow consolidates (i.e. settles and hardens) more quickly later in the season, from February onwards, but both good and bad conditions can be found at any time of year.

Food and drink. It will be extra important to bring energy and liquid with you. The cold will eat significant more energy from you than usual. Bring a thermos with hot water or soup. Water is to prefer due to you then can chose what to ad. The, coffee or soup.

Get skilled to use your equipment…

You also need to work, train and use all equipment you bring. Wind-shelter must be known how to use, ice-axe and navigation equipment.

Here follows some tips for navigation in bad weather conditions…1. Carry the right tools, and know how to use them. 2. Keeps tabs on your position. 3. Be aware of near hazards( such as steep or rocky ground, Scree, cornices, avalanche-terrain) 4. Be prepared and got plans for bad weather. 5. Know how to use bearing for navigation. 6. Trust your compass. 7. Use handrails. 8. Use GPS. 9. Measure distance with pacing. 10. Don’t panic, cool down there will be solution…

Mud – Lonely This Christmas (Official Video) – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

Do you have the ability’s?

The journey started already in 2014 but become serious from 2017. I was involved from 2018 and in the beginning of November this year we (SFLO) became fully members of the UIMLA organization.

This meaning that we got the five first International Mountain Leaders trained and examined in Sweden. But what does this all means? Well, it means that SFLO had been approved as a provider of the UIMLA standards. Ok, but what does the training and the examination includes then? First we got the previous knowledge such as you must be a certified Swedish Mountain Leader among others. The IML itself includes all this moments: Security in mountainous terrain, navigation, first aid and rescue, group leadership, teaching, mountain environment, anatomy and physiology, weather, mountain survival/bivouacking, physical ability, legal and economic considerations, multi-day activities, snow covered terrain, duration of training and assessment must be minimum 40 days and a minimum of 10 days in snow covered terrain. After you have done all this part and also have demonstrated good decision-making ability and have a good self-awareness, you can be approved. Then the real challenge start to live up to the expectation as a International Mountain Leader.

You have to evolve continuously…

The two most important abilities you must have is just self-awareness and judgement ability. You also continuously must develop. Evolve your self as a leader as a guide. You must never stop training…

This week I also held a information about the Swedish Mountain Leader standards and about the International Mountain Leader standard at a meeting with the Swedish Centre for nature Interpretation. My take is that our training got a very good quality and level…

The White Buffalo – Love Song #1 – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

Self-confidence vs Self-esteem?

Todays topic will be about self-confidence. But to begin I need to reach out the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem. They are namely quite different.

Self-esteem can be described as a more general sense that we can cope with what’s going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Also, self-esteem comes in a part from the feeling that people around us approve us. We may not be able to control this, and if we experience a lot of criticism or rejection from others, our self-esteem can easily suffer unless we support it in other ways.

So lets continue with the focusing at the self-confidence. When you got self-confidence you trust your abilities even when other don’t. It means you don the right thing even when its hard or you have to go against others opinion. It also means you not afraid to admit when you wrong, and not afraid of learning from that mistakes. The good news is that self confidence can be learned and developed. First start to think positively, when you got into self-defeating thoughts force to stop and think about something more empowering such as -I can do this. If start to have doubt about what you are doing, take a paus and write this down on a paper. Then calmly and rationally challenge them. You might find that many of this doubts looks more irrelevant and other might be valid.

When it comes to self-confidence even the behaviors will tell us about this topic. -Are you willing to take risks and to go the extra mile to achieve better things or are you staying in the comfort zone, fearing failure, and avoiding risk? Are you admitting your mistakes and learning from them – or are you working hard to cover up mistakes and hoping that you can fix the problem before anyone notices?

And it is also important to appear confident to others. So think about the way you speak, tone, voice and words. Energy and enthusiasm, and being expert or knowledgeable in the area. The body language is a chapter by its own in this context.

The Offspring – ”Self Esteem” – YouTube

Todays Christmas suggestion will be: A book of Anders Blomé ”bilder från Västjämtland” real nice photos from the area of Jämtland Sweden.

See ya tomorrow…

Welcome to this years advent calendar.

1st. of December have some requirement. So today we start this years calendar. Behind the first door we find Funäsdalen. This are who has been in focus since the 12 century. During this time the king of Norway, Sweden and Denmark fought about to concur the area, and was ravages by fire and the inhabitants have to leave their homes. But in 1882 Jonas Aslund founded a guest house in Tänndalen, and that was the starting point of a mountain adventure like no other.

Funäsdalen in summer (Photo Ulf Bergman)

In Funäsdalen, the shack culture of the time is interspersed with the living Sami culture. It is a very alive village with just 1000 person permanent residence. During the seasons the number will be at least tripled. What is really nice with Funäsdalen is that the little village got a couple of nice restaurant, hotels, hostels and also ski-lodges. And most important they also got the their own coffee roastery.

Hemma hos Edith in Funäsdalen, own coffee roastary…

It got four or even six different areas you can discover both with skies or mountain-bike or hiking. Tänndalen, Hamra, Funäsdalen, Bruksvallarna, Ramundberget and Messlingen. Funäsdalsberget is easy to access directly from Funäsdalen village.

And it offers a fantastic view. Otherwise my favorite area will be around Fjällnäs with Rutfjället och Storvigeln in the heart of the area. But also Storskarven area is really nice.

Todays x-mas gift suggestion will be a knife from Casström in Sweden.

The Swedish forest knife, Masur will be a fine gift for the bush-craft interested.

Casström No.10 Swedish Forest Knife – Ek (casstrom.se)

See ya tomorrow…

1st. of Advent and Helags.

At Thursday it will be the 1st. of December and this years calendar will begin. The new for this year will be that it will be a quiz at the 23rd of December, where you can win a book. But then you must follow the calendar for the answer will be there:-).

The morning is crisp, there is a excitement in the air. It is cloudy, but it looks like the sun might can shine trough the clouds. At the moment we are alone, but we can hear the sound of a snowmobile in the far distance. We put on the snowshoes fit the poles and start the journey towards the mountain station. We follow the track from snowmobiles and soon we can see the Kesu lake in front of us. The sun is now shining trough the clouds and it looks it will become a nice day. A couple of kids is playing with pulkas in a slope close to the lake, and we can se a man sitting close to his snowmobile and fishing. At the end of the lake it become uphill, and the wind is getting harder. A few minutes later it has stared to snowing. The wind is getting harder and now we are at the mountain with no shelter, so it is just to keep on moving. The conversation has stopped, and we all getting in to ourselves. We strive on, and soon we reach crossing of winter and summer trail, knowing that 4K to go. But on the other hand it is uphill’s the rest to the station. After another 2,5K the winter trail from Faltjagarcabin is crossing our trail, and that means it is just 1,5K left. When entering the station, it becomes every time how cozy it is.

You strive and when you enter the cabin or mountain station it feels so good. With a sauna and a nice dinner we all fell asleep with a smile at our lips. The next day was the plan to reach the top of Helags, but that is another story.

How to you go there? Well, that is fantastic. You can go from Sylarna Mountain station. Or you can go from Kläppen. You can also go from Ramundberget via Faltjagar cabin, or from Gåsen Cabin, or why don’t you try the trail from Vålå cabins?

Helags – YouTube

See ya at Thursday…

The noble quality of humility

We all need to have different kind of characteristic’s. As a outdoorer or guide the humility will be one or even the most important. But what is very important to bear in mind will be that humility does not mean that you stand back. But what does that mean in practice? Well, it means that you are interested and understand your lack and strength of your skills and experience, and continuously developing those areas…

My experience is the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know. At the same time it is important that you feel, know and work with your self-confidence and don’t hide your knowledge. But it is like in the gym, have I asked you about instruction of how to train? If a trainer does something wrong and it is a risk for her or he to get hurt, then I inform them…But a good outdoorer will continuously analyze what he/she need to improve… The question will be -but if I don’t know how good I am in for example in navigation skills? Well, that just show that you don’t have done your lesson well. Do a really good work with defining your skills and experience. If you just can navigate on trails, than you need to develop your navigation skills…Do you feel comfortable dealing with severe accidents? If not, you might need to develop your wilderness first aid knowledge…It is when you know your skills feel your experience and now your shortness, that when you got a core self-confidence. When it comes to self-confidence and how to build it up, it will be a chapter by itself.

This week I will review the Rab Cirrus Flex 2.0 Hoody men jacket. This jacket is a sophisticated combined middle and shell layer. The jacket got lining of primaloft so it work even in moister conditions. It weights 422g and is packable in its own pocket. Due to its wind resistant it can be used as a light shell if needed. For being a mid layer I think it is good so far, and the price is ok. It got a hood that can be used under a helmet. But I miss a chest pocket…but I will get back with a detailed review soon…

Knocking on Heaven’s door -Bob Dylan’s Ghost of Johnny Cash #knockingonheavensdoor – YouTube

See ya soon…

SFLO – UIMLA

Since yesterday SFLO is full member of UIMLA, and responsible for the training and cert. for Swedish International Mountain leaders.

A big moment for the Swedish guiding in general and for mountain guiding in particular. After several of years and four blocks of training of the firsts IML’s we reach the target. But now we cant rest on our laurels, today starts the next block(Summer-training) with five new aspirants for becoming IML’s. But we have to celebrate the hard work that has been done. This is a great step.

Last blog was about the upcoming winter season, and I will continue on that subject this week as well. When it comes to sleep good during winter condition the under layer will become a crucial area. Use a sleeping matt in cellular plastic. Up on that you put your inflatable matt, this one with a R-value 5-6. If you shall sleep in a snow shelter bring a couple of twigs with you. Put this under. Then the matt will not glide. Before you go to sleep shake your sleeping bag, so it got fluffy with air. Also think about the right size of the tent or bivouac you going to use. If you have to ”big” you need to warm ”dead” space. Be carful of how you place your head. Lots of your heat disappear trough your head. And you don’t want to get moister into your sleeping bag. You can also use a pair of hand-warmers into your sleeping bag to warm your core.(if using that instead of a water bottle you don’t risk that it leaks and you got a wet sleeping bag. Use lithium battery’s they keep a good effectiveness even in cold conditions. While alkaline battery’s lost 20-40% already within 0 degrees Celsius. If you have liquids, turn the bottles upside down, this will help you out in a cold morning…

The upcoming week I will test the Salomon Toundra Pro Hiking boot. This is a boot designed for winter use. It has mounts for cross-country skies. With the aerotherm Aerogel technique Salomon promise it will warm your feet even in temperatures down to -40 Celsius. The advantage shall be, the warmth, it is light, and very water resistant. This is a heavy duty boot, so I really look forward to check this one….

John Grant – Gods Gonna Cut You Down (Inside Man) – YouTube

See ya soon…

Din väg till äventyret…